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Mika Zibanejad Expected To Return On Tuesday vs. Anaheim Ducks

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NHL: New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the last nine games as a result of a concussion, Mika Zibanejad is expected to make his return to the lineup on Tuesday vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

Here are the lines that skated at practice including Zibanejad.

This leaves Boo Nieves as the odd man out with David Desharnais taking his spot on the fourth line. Nieves has appeared in 19 games this season, scoring a goal and adding five assists for six points.

In 5v5 situations Nieves is fifth in CF% with a rate of 47.08, and he also owns an impressive GF% of 81.82 with nine goals for and only two against.

Nieves has certainly held his own since being more of a fixture in the lineup, and long term projects to be a decent bottom-six center option. Someone had to come out to make room for Zibanejad to return, but it is unfortunate that it had to be Nieves.

Nieves seems to be better suited for the role, but hard to see Alain Vigneault moving Desharnais from de facto No. 1 center to healthy scratch in the blink of an eye.